Tuesday, 30 May 2017
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has urged the community to take part in celebrating Reconciliation Week 2017 by attending events across the region or starting a discussion about reconciliation.
This year’s reconciliation week celebrates 50 years since the 1967 referendum, which granted Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples a constitutional right be counted in the census and vote in all elections. It was carried with the support of nine in every 10 Australians.
Mr Marshall said Reconciliation Week is as important now as when it was first created.
“This week notes the many achievements made in knocking down barriers for indigenous people, yet gives us a chance to reflect on how we can do better,” Mr Marshall said.
“We have come a long way since 1967 in honouring Aboriginal people’s role in shaping Australia’s past, present and future – yet clearly have a long way to go. Indigenous peoples still lag behind in many health and educational outcomes; improving community attitudes can be part of ensuring no one falls behind.
“I urge everyone in the Northern Tablelands to join with our indigenous friends in celebrating events, acknowledging past and current problems, and planning a future that’s better for all Australians.”
Jess Duncan, a member of Moree’s Reconciliation Week Committee, said the town had an action packed schedule each day of the week.
“We have reconciliation events at all schools across the week – and an obstacle challenge on Wednesday, with 10 teams signed up already,” Ms Duncan said. “That will take reconciliation back to basics – around teamwork, friendship and with so many people working together, it should be a barrel of laughs and a fun day.”
Ms Duncan said the week would bring a groundswell of positivity for all people, regardless of skin colour.
“It’s a time to celebrate our community, celebrate people and thank them for what they’ve done. We can celebrate how far we’ve come, what we’ve achieved and look to the future, and look at what we can do to make a better future for the next generation.”